Monday, 18 April 2016

Placemat Game Boards

I enjoy playing a variety of board games, but it can be quite expensive buying them all. So, a few years ago I made these board games myself. I had visions of teaching my children how to play, but having no time to make the boards, so I got ready early... I love how there are so many different strategies to learn in so many different games. What may appear simple, might turn out to be a little more complicated than you originally thought.

Nine Men's Morris



You can find the rules for all these games and many others on the Masters Traditional Games website.

Out of these three, my favourite is Nine Men's Morris, but I had the most fun making the Brandub board.

Making your own board games is a great way to up-cycle old place mats. I chose ones with black or gold edging. You can buy plain MDF place mats from craft shops, but they are way more expensive than ones you can find in an op shop, and lack such imagination fueling features. For the Nine Men's Morris and Alquerque boards, I printed the board directly onto scrap-booking paper which I cut down to size to fit into my printer. The Brandub board has a scrap-booking paper background, but the squares are made from vinyl scraps. I used gold scrap-booking stickers to embellish the Alquerque board. Everything got stuck down with a couple of layers of Mod Podge. For the counters I used glass pebbles.

I am currently working on a not-really-quilted game board, so here's hoping it works out OK so I can share that with you too!

Tahlia surprised me the other day when we played a game of Carcassone with a friend. She did really well, and was able to participate (with a bit of help of course). So I'm looking forward to introducing her to these when the time comes.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Genesis 29 - Jacob's Wives Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 29, Jacob has run away from his brother Esau and gone to his mother's family to find a wife. After agreeing to work seven years in exchange for the younger, more beautiful daughter Rachel, he is tricked into marrying the elder daughter Leah, and must work a further seven years to pay for Rachel. Leah bears Jacob four sons.

Memory Verse: When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:25.

Materials needed to create Jacob's Wives quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used mid blue.
  • felt scraps
  • sewing thread to match each colour of felt
  • sew on press studs
  • material or lace for the veils
  • two small blue beads and four small brown or black beads
  • embroidered flowers, I got a fairly big bag full for $1 from Theo's Discount Craft in Melbourne
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • the template
Use the template to cut out the pieces from felt in appropriate colours. I used purple for Leah because she was the mother of Judah, through whom the royal line of King David, and thus Jesus, descended. I gave her blonde hair and blue eyes, and gave Rachel brown hair and eyes for reasons outlined in the devotional section. I used the darker shades for Leah and Rachel and used lighter shades of the same colours for Bilhah and Zilpah in the next chapter, so you might want to keep that in mind if you are doing a double page spread like me. Jacob was allocated red clothes because that's what I had already given him in the previous chapter, Genesis 28 - Jacob's Ladder Quiet Book Page.

Next, lay out your pieces and position everything on the page so you know where you want everything and to make sure it fits on your page. Pin so you can peel back as many layers as possible to sew underneath. Make sure you leave enough room for the son's names labels if you are using them.

For details on how I made the son's names labels with press studs, please refer to my Genesis 30 - Jacob Increases Quiet Book Page. Only do this part if you are making a double page spread with these two chapters.

Sew each piece down in the order listed below, matching your threads to your chosen colours.
  1. large hair sections for Leah and Rachel
  2. torso/arm sections - remember to insert the girl's dresses underneath the arms and on top of the torsos before sewing
  3. heads and feet
  4. dresses and tunic
  5. rest of the hair pieces
Cut two sections of material or lace for the veils and sew them on. Then add the beads for eyes. Finally, hot glue down your embroidered flowers over the spot where the girls hands meet.


Difficulty Level = Intermediate

Sewing Leah and Rachel's arms is the most difficult part of this page because they need to be sewn over the top of the dress before it has been sewn down yet, and you may get issues with lining them up properly. It wasn't as hard as I thought it might be though!

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 29 - this page tells the story of Jacob marrying Leah and Rachel
  • Visual Discrimination - spot the difference between Leah and Rachel
  • Peek-a-boo - lift the veils to see their faces
  • Press Studs - learn to line them up, push them on and pull them off
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

 Read the Chapter

Genesis 29


In this chapter, Jacob the deceiver - his name actually means that, gets deceived himself. He gets tricked into marrying the wrong woman... not a nice surprise I imagine. I had thought that he actually had to wait another seven years to marry his beloved Rachel, but it turns out he married her the next week, and had to pay her off for the next seven years.

For some reason, Jacob actually looks quite puzzled and cross standing next to Leah, but when you compare the shot of him standing with Rachel, he looks quite happy. I think it might be due to some body language caused by the one-shouldered tunic... What do you think?

Anyway, I drew their tunic and dresses with one shoulder because that is how they are depicted in ancient records. See the example below:

Image Source
Verse seventeen talks about Leah having weak eyes, but Rachel being both beautiful and having a hot body! There are two theories I have come across regarding Leah's weak eyes. The first says that she had blue eyes, which were considered weak and unattractive in that culture, where brown eyes were dominant. The other theory says that Leah's blue eyes were her only redeeming feature. She was perhaps blessed with a fertile, child rearing body... not a hot bod, and was not beautiful, and the only nice thing they could say about her was that she at least had nice eyes.


Monday, 4 April 2016

Standard Attendance Cards

If anyone has any unused standard attendance cards and seals (stickers), please contact me! Scanned and printed onto felt, they would make awesome quiet books and would be reusable, unlike the paper version.

I have tried unsuccessfully to contact the owner of the files, and it seems they no longer exist. Standard Publishing have told me that they did not buy the files from the company now called Christian Standard Media from whom they bought a lot of their products. After contacting them, they told me almost the same thing, except that the company they bought from, RCL Benziger, no longer exists, and that the attendance cards essentially died two years ago.

If anyone still does own the files, I would love to buy them off you!!

This card was given to my Mum in her Bible class as a child. They are copyrighted to the sixties, so they have been around a long time. I remember them myself in my own Bible class and would love to be able to share them with Tahlia.

On the back is information about sixteen cards in the lot Jacob's Dream belongs to. I am not sure if there are any more or not, but here's to hoping! It seems to skip numbers in spots, so perhaps some were deleted along the way.

1801 - Jesus, Our Shepherd - to be used with 1801-S - Lambs seals
1804 - Fishing in Galilee - to be used with 1804-S - Fish seals
1809 - Bird Bath - to be used with 1809-S - Birds seals
1810 - Entering Church - to be used with 1810-S - Bibles seals
1812 - Match the Animals - to be used with 1812-S - Animals seals
1814 - The Harbor - to be used with 1814-S - Ships seals
1815 - Noah and Rainbow - to be used with 1815-S - Rainbow seals
1816 - David and Goliath - to be used with 1816-S - Soldiers seals
1831 - Jacob's Dream - to be used with 1831-S - Angel seals
1832 - Jesus and Bible Children - to be used with 1832-S - Sheep with Lamb seals
1833 - Daniel in the Lion's Den - to be used with 1833-S - Lions seals
1834 - Announcement to Shepherds - to be used with 1834-S - Silver Stars seals
1835 - Driving to Church - to be used with 1835-S - Automobile seals
1836 - Jesus and Children of the World - to be used with 1836-S - Children's Faces seals
1837 - Juniors Study the Bible - to be used with 1837-S - Open Bibles seals
1838 - Church in Community - to be used with 1838-S - Frame House seals

Even if the seals can't be sourced, the backgrounds would still be useful as a lot of the seals could be replaced with clip art or something similar.

Anyone else have fond memories of these?

Click on the image below to read my post on the Genesis 28 - Jacob's Ladder Quiet Book Page I made.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Genesis 30 - Jacob Increases Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 30, Jacob goes on to have all the rest of his children bar Benjamin. Interestingly, because Dinah is included in this list, the number still adds up to twelve, together with the four sons mentioned in the previous chapter. God also blesses Jacob with wealth through flocks of sheep and goats.

Memory Verse: Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?” Genesis 30:29.

Materials needed to create the Jacob Increases quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used black.
  • felt scraps in two tones of purple and two tones of green, and some white, dark, spotted and striped felt for the sheep and goats
  • sewing thread to match each colour of felt
  • press studs
  • ribbons
  • a font template - I printed out the alphabet in capitals in a Word document using Cooper Black, size 120
  • a sheep and goat template like this image from Shutterstock
  • a lamb template from American Felt and Craft
Cut out your font templates, and cut them out of felt. Sew them down on the page, and write the rest of their names with a sewing machine (my sister's machine has a font setting) or embroidery machine, or hand embroider it. You could also print them onto iron on transfer paper and do it that way, but remember to flip the image first.

I also asked my sister to write out each of the children's names on her machine, and cut them out in 2cm strips. Lay them on top of the same colour of felt and sew them down. Sew one side of a press stud on the back of each, making sure not to go through to the top layer of felt. Sew the bottom halves of the press studs onto the page near the corresponding mother's name.

Melt the ends of some ribbons and sew them down for grass. I used a green ribbon with white spots, and a plain white ribbon with green ric rak over the top for a streaked effect to emphasize the spotted, speckled and streaked sheep and goats which were Jacob's wages during the six years he stayed on with Laban (following the fourteen years he worked for his wives).

Adjust the animal templates to the size needed for the page and in relation to each other. Cut out the templates as whole pieces. Cut them out of felt and sew them down onto the page as you would like them arranged. Cut out the sheep from pure white felt, but layer another spotted and striped felt on top which has had the legs and face cut out of it. Again, I used spotted and striped felt to accentuate the spotted, speckled, and streaked sheep and goats, and used a dark blue for the dark coloured lamb as stipulated for Jacob's wages.


Difficulty Level = Intermediate

The press studs are the slightly harder elements of this page. You could simplify it by using sticky dot velcro instead and hot gluing it on to make sure they don't come off easily. The sheep and goats are a bit fiddly due to the small size I made them. As this page should be used together with Genesis 29, it kind of doubles the work needed too...

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 30 - This page tells the story of the rest of Jacob's children's birth's (except Benjamin). It should be used in conjunction with the Genesis 29 - Jacob's Wives quiet book page because Jacob's first four children are born in this chapter. It also tells the story of Jacob's wages post the fourteen years he worked to acquire his wives - the speckled, spotted, and streaked sheep and goats, and the dark coloured lambs, and how God blessed him with such things.
  • Colour matching - match the children with their mother
  • Ordering - the older child can learn Jacob's children's birth order from memory
  • Press Studs - learn to line them up, push them on and pull them off
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

Read the Chapter

Genesis 30


The similarity of Bilhah and Zilpah's names had me guessing that they were also sisters. Turns out that they most likely were, and may even have been the half-sisters of Leah and Rachel (through Laban's concubine). You can check out the Jewish folklore stories on the Jewish Women's Archive encyclopedia entry on Zilpah. As if there wasn't enough intrigue going on in this story already!

All the intrigue and goings on in the Bible really points out the fact to me that God can handle all of my problems. He has had plenty of experience.